Volunteers to deliver food, essential items to homebound neighbors

Together with local civic groups and nonprofit organizations, Southold Town officials are looking to mobilize volunteers to deliver food, medications and other essential items to homebound neighbors amid the coronavirus outbreak.

While the town’s senior center has delivered more than 1,500 meals to seniors this week so far, councilwoman Jill Doherty said that there may be residents who don’t need meals, but require help with other daily tasks.

“A lot of people are afraid — they don’t want to go out,” Ms. Doherty said in an interview Wednesday afternoon. “It’s not like a hurricane, where three days later we’re all back, just cleaning up our yards. It’s a long-term thing and we have to think of each other.”

While the town is limited in terms of help it can provide directly to residents, it has called on members of civic organizations, rotaries and other community groups to provide volunteers who may be able to step up and help neighbors complete errands.

“The town doesn’t have funds to go out and buy food for people,” Ms. Doherty said, noting that payment for things like groceries will be handled by civic groups and the people they assist. Those struggling financially will be put in touch with CAST, she said.

“It’s a time for all of us to pull together,” wrote Mattituck-Laurel Civic Association president Charles Gueli in an email to their members. He noted that while many elderly residents have family, friends and neighbors looking out for them, many people looking for assistance have been reaching out to the town.

The community outreach initiative will be organized by government liaison Denis Noncarrow, who said he would contact organizations to coordinate grocery runs for residents based on hamlet and need.

“We have more volunteers than people calling to say they need help,” Ms. Doherty said. “The great people in this town always come together in a crisis.”

For more information or to request assistance, contact Mr. Noncarrow at 631-765-5806 or [email protected].